Monday, September 21, 2015

Building a CASUAL Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Festival in Montmartre by Gino Severini

I love this painting; it lives just down the street from me at the Art Institute of Chicago. Severini isn't well-known, and I think that's a shame - his Cubist works are lovely...

Festival in Montmartre by Gino Severini

This painting lends itself to a color scheme firmly grounded in versatile neutrals, but sparked with some extraordinary accent colors. In addition to the pink and blue that I've chosen, you've got some beautiful yellow, a hint of true red, and some aqua too! 

Care-giving as Art 

She took care of them all - children, spouse, parents, neighbors, and never missed a beat...

JacketIDLF for Uniqlo; jeans – Mother;
Tee shirt – J. Crew; cords – Lands’ End

And she always looked lovely while doing so! Never over-done or fussy, and ALWAYS appropriate to the occasion and the activities. But there were no messy days, no mornings tossing on a coat over a sweatsuit...

Cardigan – Lands’ End; chinos – Lands’ End;
Tee – Majestic Filatures; corduroy pants – Lands’ End

And nobody could ever actually remember seeing her shop for clothes! They clearly weren't monitoring her incoming mail - especially the parcel deliveries...

Striped tee – J. Crew; plaid flannel shirt – Uniqlo;
Printed tee – Uniqlo(sold out); lovebird tee – Sugarhill Boutique

Nobody made it look easier!

Sweater – Closed; denim faux-wrap skirt – Tibi;
sweatshirt – Uniqlo; blue shirt – Lands’ End

She didn't wear a lot of jewelry, and she had only a few pair of shoes. But everything contributed to her overall sense of polish and completeness. (note the square and angular motifs which connect many of these accessories - very Cubist!)

Stud earrings- Rebecca Minkoff; pink scarf – Portolano; navy and grey plaid 
scarf – BP.; geometric necklace – Quispe Family; pink square earrings – 
Bling Jewelry; windowpane plaid scarf – My Favourite Things; quilted nylon 
tote – MZ Wallace; wide cuff bracelet – Nordstrom; narrow cuff bracelet – 
Nordstrom; short boots – Calvin Klein; riding boots – Vince Camuto
driving shoes – David Tate

Those who knew her best might have been able to guess her secret - it was that she planned carefully for her clothes and accessories, just as she kept organized in all of the other aspects of her life.  

She was always recognizably dressed like herself - but her outfits were varied and never dull.

She knew, better than anyone, that when you have your wardrobe under control, you're free to take care of all sorts of other things! And when her responsibilities began to diminish, who knows what she might do...


Artisan Jewelry Designs


  1. A beautiful piece of art and a wonderful wardrobe. I love the collection. Thank you!

  2. You've pretty much described my life! Not that I've always looked perfectly groomed, but you've helped a great deal with that. Thank you.

    1. My life, too! And I second you when you say how much Janice has helped with looking, no, being pulled together.


  3. Thank you for honoring caregivers! I'm entering that phase as I will continue to care for my 18 yr old son with Autism after he leaves the school system. I still want to look chic and pulled together on the outside, even when there are days when I won't feel that way on the inside. Sometimes as outfit with colors that look great can lift the spirits!!

    1. I am also helping my 23 yo son and soon-to-be 19 yo daughter, both on the Autism Spectrum. I've whittled my wardrobe down to what I truly love. Now I pick a scarf, then top, bottom and topper and am on my way feeling put-together, thanks to Janice.

  4. Love the riding boots you selected here! Will have to look at those! Have a wonderful Monday, Janice!

  5. Janice,
    Your organizational wisdom is finally penetrating my thick skull --16 pieces of clothing provide PLENTY of outfits for travel packing ! I just need to include a nice blazer or jacket and a skirt to get the dressier evening dinner options while on a trip.
    Thank you !

  6. Hi Janice,

    I love the colors here, especially the plaid shirt with the pink sweater. But I guess that "she" didn't like the printed tee-shirt from Uniqlo as it did not show up in any of the outfits. Maybe that was her Saturday morning cleaning the house outfit.

    Thank you for the wonderfu ideas as always.

    Louise P

  7. Good morning,
    I appreciate how the cubist aesthetic matches the clothes and accessories but, also to me, matches this woman's approach to life and responsibilities, just get on with it and make it beautiful. Cubism seems to suit a person who must stay organized. Really like the denim skirt too.

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. Looking put together for all the casual, everyday events while being practical is a tricky business for me. Thank you for this great example of how it can be done, and thank you for the constant reminder that great art can touch and enrich our lives in so many ways. Mary

  9. I tend toward super-casual when I'm not at work, so this looks just about perfect to me.

  10. Love the printed tee from Uniqlo, but the link leads to the plaid shirt, and the link for the plaid shirt leads to Chinese (something that looks like it might say "page not found")

    1. I think the tee shirt might be sold out - if you search for the designer John Robshaw, you might be able to find it at one of their foreign sites. And thanks for letting me know about the scrambled links!

  11. A lovely and practical group of clothes. Similar to our Australian Sportscraft label which I really like.

  12. Janice you are a master/mistress of the fine art of dressing!

  13. A great combination of casual clothes! Very relatable to my life.